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In what is being called a "heartbreaking update," authorities believed they have discovered the remains of a 15-month-old Tennessee girl who disappeared late last year.
"This evening, as part of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Evelyn Mae Boswell, and acting on new information developed in the case, TBI Agents and Detectives with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office searched a property belonging to a family member of Evelyn’s mother, Megan Boswell," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement late Friday night. "During the search, investigators discovered human remains believed to be those of the missing 15-month-old girl. The remains will be sent for an autopsy and a positive identification."
The bureau called the discovery a "heartbreaking update" in the search for the missing toddler and thanked the public for their support. The property belongs to a family member of Megan Boswell, Evelyn's 18-year-old mother, who currently stands accused of misleading authorities. She appeared in court on Monday, according to local news outlet WJHL.
TBI special agent Brian Fraley testified in court that the home where the remains were discovered belongs to Megan Boswell's brother, father and grandfather, Fraley testified according to WJHL. Investigators also found clothing matching the description of the clothes Evelyn was last seen in, Fraley also testified.
Evelyn was first reported missing last month — although authorities learned the young girl had not been seen since December, according to CNN. Authorities had expressed concern at the time that the long gap in time between Evelyn's last sighting and authorities issuing an AMBER Alert may have hindered the investigation.
“This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We usually have to act really quick and usually [on a] one hour or two-hour basis ... but we’re talking two months, and it’s hindering a lot of our investigation,” Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy had told reporters in February.
Days after Evelyn was reported missing, police arrested Evelyn's 42-year-old grandmother, Angela Boswell, and William McCloud, 33, for allegedly driving a stolen car, according to USA Today. After news of Evelyn's disappearance became public, Megan told authorities her mother had taken the child to a campground in Virginia, leading authorities to track Angela Boswell down and ultimately arrest her. She and McCloud face a charge of theft in connection to the stolen car, a 2007 BMW, and have since bonded out of jail, USA Today reported.
Megan Boswell also previously claimed she didn’t contact police earlier because she thought the person who took her daughter would vanish if she contacted authorities, according to local television station WCYB. This statement came before Megan Boswell was arrested and accused of misleading investigators who were searching for her daughter.
"Every time we talk to her, her story changes," Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy previously said, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. "I'm serious when I say that. Every single time."
Evelyn’s father is currently on active military duty in Louisiana, authorities previously said.
Megan Boswell's bond was increased to $150,000 by a judge on Monday and her court-appointed attorney said Megan was “obviously upset at the news" that authorities believe Evelyn is now dead.
District Attorney Barry Staubus expects Megan Boswell will face additional charges, he told WJHL. The mother's case will be given to a grand jury in April.
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